In Joyful Hope… (Rm. 12: 12)
In 2017 the College theme is: “In joyful hope.” It is an inspiring theme which insists that we look forward with hope, energy and joy. Following is the reflection prepared for the students. Each year, in Religious Education Classes, students reflect upon the College theme and prepare a response. Throughout the year we hope to share some of these responses with you.
Every new year brings with it excitement of what the future may hold; goals and plans ready to be lived out and achieved. Any new moment in the life of a community is framed in a joyful hope. Anticipation, readiness, eagerness and hopefulness is what we embrace and simultaneously give away to those with whom we are in contact. These are the essence of a joyful and hopeful community. It is the hope of things to come that energises us and provides us with meaning in our journey.
In a particular way, St John’s Regional College, is destined for new and brighter horizons. We are the living instruments of hope, therefore, because we stand at the cusp of a new era, a new time in the history of the College. We welcome a new Principal and new students and staff. We welcome the new beginnings of an academic year. We welcome the vision of Visible Learning to direct and inform our curriculum. We welcome changes to our environment and feel excited and enthused by their potential and the potential of everything else that welcomes us into the new year.
Ann Rennie offers us this further reflection about hope and we use it to inform us and encourage us in our year of joyful hope.
Hope is the language of invitation and welcome, of good words and good news to others. It is present when we speak with tenderness and insight, when we offer words of encouragement and solidarity, when we cheer and barrack, when we offer a shoulder to cry on. It is there when we listen to the well-worn words of wisdom that come to us from our prophets and poets.
Hope is an action, not just an attitude. To live in hope means to keep going, to refuse to give up, to stare down the unforgiving minutes and the barren years, to believe that things will turn out for the best. Hope means holding on when experience says something else. It is not about naïve optimism, but an instinct for the possible.
Hope is what we hang onto because we are human. It is the belief that life, despite the hurt and suffering, still has much to offer. Hope harnessed to the heart offers possibility and consolation. It is the life jacket that buoys us when we flail in a sea of despair and doubt. We see hope in practice when the goodness in us prevails: when that small inner candle is not extinguished by the wind of sad circumstance.
Hope is, as Emily Dickinson wrote ‘…the thing with feathers that perches in the soul…’
Hope is personified in Jesus of Nazareth.
As Christians, live in hope eternal (joyful hope).